Rebel overcoming disability - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rebel overcoming disability

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

It's a sound most of us take for granted when watching football.
The whistle.
For Ole Miss Rebel Tee Shepard, it's a sound he'll never forget.  

Shepard recalled the first time he heard it, during Rebel fall camp, ''He (blows the whistle), 'Tee did you hear my whistle? Can you hear the whistle?' I'm like no, but blow it again. Whoa! I was amazed."

You see, Shepard is deaf.

The California native has lived and played football with hearing loss his entire life, but until he came to Oxford last year, had been limited in what he could hear.

"What made me come to Ole miss, the AD has hearing loss,' says Shepard. 'When they told me they could get me some fancy type of hearing aid, I believed them."

Now fitted with a nearly invisible, powerful hearing aid that allows him to hear at what he says is nearly 100 percent, Shepard has excelled, both in school and on the field, where he'll compete for a starting job at corner with the Rebels this season.

His success is something he wants to share with kids like him at Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, where Shepherd spent time telling his story.

Parent Dan Gaw, whose son Lewis is a student at the school said,  "With the resources and teachers they provide here at the school and  mentoring and education with role models like Tee, it shows you can grow up and be successful with a disability like hearing loss, it's very motivating, for everyone."

For Shepard, it's about setting an example.  

"I wanna let everyone know in the world, that have a hearing disability or any disability, that understand they can go out and compete and go to college and be something someday.  I didn't have no one to look up to. So I had to set an example for myself. To tell the young kids today my story, where they can look up to me, not only look up to me, but do it for God, and just be amazing."

Something this Rebel is already.

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